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Fast times on Leith Hill

The crowds were out in force on Cowbell Corner for this year’s edition of the John Bornhoft Memorial Hill Climb. With over 60 starters it was as large field, with great representation from local clubs and teams. There were some fast times throughout the day and defending champion Harry Macfarland (TAAP Endura) set the fastest men’s time with a blistering time of 3:30 and Danielle Watkinson (LND Academy) took nearly a minute out of the opposition with 4:37 to take the women’s title. Full write-up from CTT here and results here.

Every year we recognise the fastest Wheelers on the day at the club awards. This year the honour went to to Tom Kennett and Alessandra Scaduto, who have kindly given us a lowdown on their race.

Tom Kennett

It was yet another beautiful day for the John Bornhoft Memorial Hill Climb. I turned up after a hard and productive summer of training full of hopes and ambitions, but in the end went far too hard in the first two minutes and paid for it in the second half. The main thing that kept me going was the incredible noise from Cowbell corner and some of the other supporters along the course, awesome as ever!

It was the first of six (and hopefully seven) hill climbs for me this season, potentially leading up to the National Hill Climb on The Struggle at the end of October. Before then however I have an ill-advised double-double-header with Brighton Mitre’s back to back hill climbs on Saturday 7th October and then the infamous Catford/Bec double on Sunday the 8th.

Alessandra Scaduto

Hill climbing, what’s not love? I am a big fan of hills and really enjoy going up them. What I have never tried before is the hill climb event.

This year the John Bornhoft Memorial Hill Climb, organised by the amazing KWCC crew, took place on a date I could attend. And what an amazing day it was!

From the start to the finish you get the atmosphere of the people cheering around you, your cycling mates trying to smash their previous records, the cowbells, some incredible super light bikes. For me it was more of a give it a go as a first timer and I’m not gonna lie, Leith Hill scared me a bit. There was no need!

As I started going up there were already people cheering me and taking photos and when I reached the hardest bit – Cowbell Corner, the atmosphere was so amazing I forgot the pain and smiled at the cameras.

In the end I smashed my PB and even took the win for the Kingston Wheelers club prize as fastest Woman. I just wanted to say a massive thank you to this cycling club and everyone who got involved: I couldn’t have done it without you!!!

Photos by Bogdan Melnik